Camden responds to the Government's decision on HS2
The Prime Minister has announced that the building of High Speed 2 (HS2) will go-ahead and committed to "new delivery arrangements for Euston station" (11 February 2020).
The Government also published the full report arising from the Oakervee Review, the independent review called by Government to examine the project.
Councillor Danny Beales, Cabinet Member for Investing in Communities and an Inclusive Economy, gave Camden Council's reaction to these announcements. He said:
For years now we have campaigned with our community against the HS2 scheme.
"We never wanted this scheme in Camden because we knew it would put our community through years of upheaval, disruption and blight. The area around Euston has already been changed forever. HS2 has displaced residents from their homes and long-established businesses have shut. We’ve lost our treasured green spaces and Euston has become a building site, cutting off our communities from one another.
"Despite years of opposition to the scheme, we have always fought hard to get the best deal for our residents. During the parliamentary process we won more than 150 assurances to ease the worst impacts of the scheme on our community.
"While the Government has given the green light to HS2, the findings of the Oakervee review have revealed significant problems with how change at Euston has been managed – and our communities have felt the worst of these impacts.
"We welcome the Government’s recognition of the challenges that development has presented at Euston. We need a single plan for Euston, integrating the existing railway station with the planned HS2 station. We are clear that a joined-up approach to station design and delivery is essential, and we expect to be a full and equal partner of this approach.
"If planned carefully, Euston has real potential to deliver significant growth that brings huge local and national benefits. We are clear the terms of reference for a single approach to Euston should be based on our Euston Area Plan – a framework for regeneration that will benefit local people and contribute to a thriving knowledge quarter. It would put what our residents need at the heart of plans, by delivering up to 3,800 new homes and over 14,000 jobs and linking up communities through the development.
"While we welcome the Oakervee Review’s recommendation to temporarily locate the line’s terminus at Old Oak Common, which will give more time to get Euston right, we urge the government to make clear a single plan for Euston, and promptly, because we don’t want to prolong the construction period. Our communities are suffering and any further uncertainty and blight is unacceptable.
"We need the right funding and a commitment from the government to deliver an exceptional place – with new homes, jobs, and green spaces that Camden needs, connecting communities in the surrounding areas and ensuring they have full access to these new opportunities. We have the ambition for the Euston area, and the empathy and track record to ensure that development meets the needs of our communities.
"We urge the Government to make public their full response to the Oakervee Review’s final recommendations.